Housing Advocate-Housing and Support Services

  • Heartland Family Service
  • Omaha, NE, USA
  • Jun 04, 2019
Full time Case Management

Job Description

At Heartland Family Service, we are committed to building a culture that is trauma informed and values and celebrates diversity and inclusion. We believe this allows for better service delivery and innovation, as it encourages our employees to bring various experiences and uniqueness to the workplace.  

Trauma Informed Care is an approach to engaging people with histories of trauma that recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma has played in their lives.  Trauma Informed Care also acknowledges the effects of working with trauma survivors on our workforce, and seeks to build collaborative and supportive working environments and relationships. 

If you believe in our mission of creating healthy families and communities, and like a fast pace, collaborative and team oriented environment, then Heartland Family Service is the agency for you.  

SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF WORK 

This Housing Advocate will work as a part of the team, serving program participants in the Several Rapid Rehousing programs.   These programs provide financial assistance and support services to individuals and families who are homeless and residing in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie Counties.  The Housing Advocate will work with landlords and property managers in the community to assist program participants to locate, obtain, and retain suitable housing.  

Entry level position. Educational requirements are specific.  Decision making and problem solving are required.

Work Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with some evenings required

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

    • *Participate in weekly team meetings with program staff to review the status of program participants, including identifying housing barriers and service needs.
    • *Assist clients in identifying housing needs and a budget for housing costs
    • *Assists the clients in identification of strengths, needs, and goals to develop an individualized housing stability plan to locate housing.
    • *Assist individuals or families in locating, obtaining, and retaining suitable housing though housing search and placement services, including providing transportation, assisting in completing rental applications and helping to ensure the inspection and move-in processes are completed timely
    • *Maintain timely contact and follow up with Landlords regarding application statuses, scheduled showings and lease signings.
    • Provide maximum utilization of available housing units by matching client needs and desires to available inventory.
    • *Participate in weekly team meetings with the Housing Search team to identify available units and creative solutions to address housing needs of program participants.
    • *Complete housing habitability inspections for housing units in which program participant will be living, including compliance with lead based paint requirements, fair market rent and rent reasonableness as needed.
    • *Assist with lease signings with program participants and obtain necessary paperwork to process financial assistance requests, including ensuring income verification is obtained and needed paperwork from landlords is on file.
    • *Apply knowledge of residential lease contracts to educate clients of their rights and responsibilities.
    • *Collaborate with program participants and Case Managers to provide assistance with move-in as needed, to include securing utilities and making moving arrangements.
    • * Provide mediation and advocacy with landlords on the client’s behalf to develop a plan to obtain and/or maintain housing.
    • *Assist the Landlord Recruitment Specialist as needed in locating unit vacancies and maintain up to date database of available units, including ensuring that identified units meet the needs of program participants.
    • *Foster positive working relationships to increase retention of landlords through mediation, crisis resolution, utilization of mitigation funds and ongoing contact and collaboration.
    • *Outreach to landlords and property managers within the community to inform them of the programs and recruit prospective landlords.
    • *Work is completed in client homes, homeless shelters, office space, and other non-traditional settings. Ensure safety and security measures for in-home/outreach services are followed.
    • *Travel is required, included use of personal vehicle. Transport of clients is required as deemed necessary (limited to housing search or other relevant appointments).
    • * Responsible for maintaining comprehensive, accurate service records for all clients and ensuring required information is collected, entered into prescribed formats, and reported in a timely manner – as outlined by federal funding and internal reporting guidelines. Documentation includes, but is not limited to, documentation of all contacts, services and HMIS reporting requirements.
    • Is dependable and punctual regarding scheduling and attendance
    • Is able to work both independently, with little supervision, and as a part of a team.
    • Displays a courteous and caring attitude at all times to the clientele, volunteers, and visitors of the Agency.
    • Abides by all specific program and Agency procedures, policies, and requirements.
    • Cooperates and collaborates with program area staff, volunteers, and other Agency staff.
    • Develops personal and program related skills through participation in internal and external training   opportunities including printed material and audio and/or visual media.
    • Is able to develop positive working relationships with clients, referral sources, service agencies, landlords, and others encountered in the course of work.
    • Creates, maintains, and shares as appropriate a dynamic self-care plan.
    • Strives to make connections between the agency and the larger community whenever possible in order to contribute to the agency’s ongoing fundraising and friend-raising efforts.
    • Performs other program related duties as assigned.

     

Job Requirements

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor's degree AND 2 years experience in the service industry (property management/real estate, sales or customer service) preferred OR equivalent combination of education/experience
  • Valid Drivers License and acceptable driving record

                                                                                   

                                                                                             *DENOTES ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

CORE COMPETENCIES

To excel an individual must demonstrate the following competencies to perform the essential functions of this position.

Communication – Clearly conveying and receiving messages to meet the needs of all, expressing oneself effectively, understanding underlying issues and adapting communication for the situation.

Teamwork – Working cooperatively and productively with others to achieve results by actively participating in the team and involving other team members.

Problem Solving & Judgment – Ability to assess options and implications in order to identify a solution by breaking down problems, recognizing basic and multiple relationships and can develop complex plans and/or analyses.

Adaptability – Personal willingness and ability to work in and adapt to change, valuing the need for adaptability, demonstrating adaptability through adapting approach and strategy.

Client Focus – Understanding and meeting or exceeding client needs through responsive client service and contributing to positive outcomes for the client, meeting long term client needs.

Innovation-Using original and creative thinking to make improvements and/or develop and initiate new approaches for own job/area as well as the organization, and does things new to the organization.

Relationship Building – Developing and maintaining win/win relationships and partnerships through establishing formal working relationships.

Service Facilitation – Creates networks to ensure required services are delivered effectively, providing information as required.

Organizational Awareness & Commitment – Understands the structure and culture of the organization and supports the organization’s values, principles and goals; demonstrating an understanding of the organization beyond own workgroup and can anticipate and meet organizational needs.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY SPECIFICATIONS

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

(The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions).

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.

WORK ENVIRONMENT

(Work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions).        

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is not exposed to weather conditions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Loan Forgiveness?

Yes